Horizontal links

Monday, 12 February 2018

Mountains don't jump through hoops


Often we hear youths with small means get all excited about 1 to 2% stuffs; and "free" trinkets like miles/cashbacks and such.

Understandable. I were young once. And definitely with puny pockets too!

Next time you visit the Bird Park, or any talent shows with an animal act, look out for the hands of the animal trainers. Each time their "pet" does what they were told to do, they will slip a "reward" to the animals' mouths.

Now look up to see the strings others are pulling on you if you have been swinging from one credit card to another, hopping from bank A to bank B, and jumping from one discount app to another...

Those of you in sales or marketing you know what I'm talking about. Its our job as "animal trainers"!

As for those of you clueless what talking me, I'll suggest you talk to someone you trust that is also successful in sales or marketing. (Make a wild guess why I added the "successful" qualifier)

Someone who will tell you like it is. Not the politically correct bullshit spin about customer experience or satisfaction that sort of thing. Its all about market share, revenue growth, and promotions up the corporate ranks!

Long story short. 

What's the common trait you find people who are decisive, determined, and strong-willed?

The ability to ignore the small stuffs and zero in on the salient (抓重点)?

I have a test. 

What's the essence of an education?

Get it right, everything will fall into place. Wink.


  1. We can play their game in our own way too.

    We can have as many different banking credit cards as long as the annual fees are waived.

    Usually foreign banks give more promotional and better benefits for using their cards.

    So why not holding as many credit cards as possible?

    And the freebies can worth something especially during a promotional sales.

    Don't look down on this freebies.

    They are really something for U doing nothing except be aware of which credit card to use to get the best value for your money.

    Have been doing this since credit cards started.

    1. temperament,

      Somehow I don't think having multiple credit cards to enjoy the freebies was that salient thing you did to get from ITE to where you are now...


  2. Don't forget to check on COD for any differential price when there is option to pay via CC or cash. Ask and save money. This is upfront cash discount! No trick. No marketing gimmick!

    1. CW,

      Try telling that to those who have been "conditioned" (nicer word for brainwashed) to always pay with credit cards for the "free" miles and what not...

      If one has zero experience with street smarts (whole life inside ivory tower), try opening a blog shop and one will quickly discover how much a shop owner has to pay the credit card companies, Paypal, Nets, and other easy payment providers...

      Once you discover why shop owners prefer Cash or Nets payments, you'll discover why its so profitable for the banks and credit card companies to give away "free" miles and cashbacks to their loyal flocks ;)

      And why there's alawys a marketing budget for "influencers" to snake oil and spin jumping through hoops and rings very de fun!

  3. smol, you know if you pump patrol paying cash, discount 5%. if you pay by CC, discount 20%!! i don't have CC so use my wife one, she have many haha. that work out different around $100 a month!

    another time i went to pay my car insurance at the counter, the old fasion way. the lady say, "sorry uncle we don't accept cash, only CC!


    1. another time at the bank, the sales girl saw my bank balance, after i done my transaction she quickly pull me over

      "uncle, you need to apply credit card, we gives many many goodess, everythng is free!!" i say OK.

      after checking on my background she disappointly say "sorry uncle, we can't gives you credit cos you don't have an income!"


    2. coconut,

      Its not so simple like comparing cash with credit cards ;)

      I'll let you figure out if you are the petrol kiosk owner, why you would want to give 20% discount to your customers for using CC instead of accepting cash...

      Why would anyone throw away margins?


      I think you know why the bank sales girl so "helpful" to help you get "free" goodies ;)

      If a product sells by itself (pull), companies won't need to pay attractive commissions to salespersons to snake oil (push) them out.

      Hence term insurance only bones to sell side snake oils; wholelife, endowments, and ILPs got a lot more meat! Now that's a full meal!

      If I'm a shepherd in charge of marketing or sales, would I propose a marketing/sales plan to help my land owner LOSE money?

    3. coconut.

      There are lots of ways to skin a cat.

      If I want to "encourage" customers to go cashless, I can "punish" cash use like for our MRT and bus rides.

      Half the battle is won if customers perceive using EZ-Link cards over cash is a "discount" ;)

      Street smart shoppers may know quite a lot of "usual retail prices" are "fake" for electronics, hotels, tourist attractions; etc.

      They are there so we can "discount" to bei kambings without too much damage to margins ;)

    4. yes yes i got your point and i agree with you! but sometime not having credit cards can cause lots of inconveience and not to mention the amount of money "save"!

      tell me what can you do if you are a cat and are about to be skin alive?

    5. coconut,

      I got 3 credit cards ;)

      It was never about cash or credit cards in the first place.

      You guys want to talk about the nuts and bolts, so I put down my book and pick up the spanner instead :)

      If I'm a cat to going to be skinned alive... Well, I'll pray that the "spin" cats got nine lives is true!

      That's the essence of education!!!

      You see every other animals all die with one life. No exception.

      People say cats are "special" - got nine lives.

      Who to believe?


  4. Rats in rat race run & do tricks to get rewards. Hey who moved my cheese?!?!

    Mountains buy banks & insurers at fair to good valuations. Use growing dividends to buy air tickets, holidays & other crap. Kekeke!!!

    1. Spur,


      Its about focusing on that important thing that matters; and not being distracted by "good to have" small stuffs...

      I use the crass "bronze smell" words of Earn More. The butterfly said it better, "Grow bigger than our problems."

      Several years back, youths with small means were raving about that "cheapo" brokerage with lower commissions.

      Mountains don't move.

      If that "cheapo" brokerage's model is not sustainable, it will close. Or be like those banks/credit cards that move the goal posts once they have enough sheep in their flock.

      If it works, would the other established brokerages standstill and let it take market share?

      Look what happened?

      Now most local brokerages have reduced their commissions to match - with better platforms, better customer support, and no need to pledge shares with them some more!

      We let snake oils and vested interests come to the mountain ;)

      I never say no to discounts or cashbacks; however, discounts and cashbacks don't sway my decisions to consume ;)

      It never cease to amaze me when I read people asking which currency "cheaper" to pay when overseas using credit cards...

      Got some say use cash to avoid the exchange loss!? Must be newbie travellers.

      Want to save money? Stay at home.

      And some of the people asking are graduates!!!???

    2. Use growing dividend to sustain minimal lifestyle expenses will be my choice.


    3. Ben,

      Have fun on your journey!

      Young fellow Tao traveller you ;)

  5. Coconut had said can save about $100 per month at petrol kiosk.

    What about at restaurants if U always entertain guests because of business.

    Real experience:

    Once i was shopping for a Rolex watch for my wife.

    All shops said Rolex price is fixed by the company.

    i managed to find one Authorized Dealer willing to discount 3 % if i pay in cash.

    Why not doing a little work saved me a few hundred bucks.

    This is not sweating for the small stuff U know.

    1. temperament,

      For fixed price Rolex, pay by cash at "selected" shops can discount by 3%.

      How many shops you visited, transport, and hours expended to "save" this 3% you ownself know. Everyone is different. To you its not small stuff; to others the time saved or convenience factor can be more important ;)

      For petrol pay by "right" credit card can discount by 20%.

      Of course its not straight forward as any user would know. Have to jump through hoops, hurdles, and rings to hit each carrot they dangle in front of each tier.

      If one already spends more than $200 per month on petrol, then its vested interests coming to the mountain. You didn't change your consuming or driving lifestyle. Free of course take!

      But if one has to make a concerted "effort" to spend $200 per month on petrol to "earn" this 20% discount, well, someone has you by the baxxs!


    2. Just a little leg work at Orchard Road shops.

      Now, U can google and google to your heart's content.

      But don't be mistaken, not everything purchase online is always cheaper.

      For a branded watch, 3 % discount can be anything 300 to 600 $$$ easily.

      i doubt most people can't be don't bother.

      In fact i think the Richie's stay rich because they bother about every penny.

    3. i agree if FOC discount must jump through hoops and loops, it is quite stupid to force yourself.

      On the other hand, it can happens that U need to use the thing, why not if the promotion is coincidence.

    4. temperament,

      Sometimes we can be penny wise pound foolish...

      Rolex discount and price premiums

      1. Discount can be -15% off recommned prices if you are regular customer or good price negotiator ;)

      This is what I meant by focusing on the salient and important point ;)

      2. If can afford a Rolex and die die want the latest model, then its back to my other post on:

      TIP - To Insure Performance

      I know. I've served customers who come to the showroom to compare prices 3-4 times!? All to save that few hundred dollars... And this is not counting the other competitor showrooms they have surveyed!

      Then there's this 60 plus Temasek uncle who worked under Ho Ching before when I was working at Plaza Sing. Drives a huge Lexus but stingy until like...

      You know, one of those who like to game the system by spending exactly the limit to collect Capitaland vouchers and points by splitting his purchases into multiple receipts.

      I pity his wife. Want to buy something for $5 dollars the husband will "grill" her on "wants and needs"...

      That's why I tell women never to marry miserly guys!

      Ya, the guy is rich like hell. So what if he's not going to spend a single cent on you?

      Unless you play the long game by "betting" your husband dies earlier than you...

      Put more sugar into his morning coffee!


    5. Are U saying U can get Genuine Rolex watch from Authorized Dealer to the tune of 20%?

      Ridiculously! Unheard of!

      Got shadow or not?

      Don't pull my leg leg.


    6. temperament,

      Hee hee. Consider yourself lucky if you didn't have to pay a price premium for the limited editions!

      You mean if you regular VIP collector of luxury watches you won't get a discount from the authorised dealers?

      Of course authorised dealers all will say no discounts. Wait if you "ghost customer" from Rolex spying on them how?

      But to familiar customers they know, everything is negotiable.

      I've got 2 promoters that wear Rolex watches - one the $20K sports kind; the other $40K with diamonds studded.

      Well, that's one way to "intimidate" your customers...


    7. Unless u buy a Rolex from them every year or 2, u can forget about discount for the popular sports models.

      Much easier to get discount for those dress models n those obiang phua chu kang solid gold diamond studded ones. More room for discount for higher priced items.

      U can get good deals for 2nd hand out of demand models e.g. not too long ago can get older 18k gold president for barely us$10k when brand new cost 2X.

      Of course if from investment point of view then best time will be during bad recessions to get 2nd hand popular sports models. Just like blue chips lol.

    8. Unknown,


      There is no black and white solutions or answers that many seek ;)

      If popular Rolex models got backlog of customers waiting, why should I give discount? I'll charge even more!

      But if I got slow moving models that I want to clear, of course can "discuss"... Wink, wink.

      The same goes for investments.

      There are those who are super patient and wait for prices to come to them.

      Then there are those who chase prices because "fear of missing out" ;)

      Its a test of nerves between strong hands and weak hands. See who blinks first!

    9. 20 to 40 K or 2 to 40 $ watch makes no difference to me after hand phone has FOC watch.

      Also i believe money in my pocket is best rather showing my money to the World in material things.

      To my wife yes.

      i like her to have at least something to show just like any other woman.

      Really I would rather put $40K in Hour Glass then in a Rolex watch by H.G.

      That's only me lol.

      Always thinking of any value in return for my money.


    10. temperament,

      Thrifty on yourself but generous to your love ones - now that's the best husband material!

      You are right.

      With mobile phones, there's no longer a "need" for us to wear watches.

      We wear watches as its a discreet way to exude our taste and social class ;)

    11. Oops......

      Don't wear anything except clothings means no class to most people.

      Sometimes in a hurry, I even forget to put on my front tooth.

      Almost all people talking to me then feel awkward.

      Some even feel shocks.

      Me? i getting use to it already.

      My friends also if not most probably not my friends anymore.

      Ha! Ha!

    12. temperament,


      No wonder you so "iron teeth"...

      Got dentures!

      Have a super CNY qian bei!

  6. I think that it is better to be simple in payment. Cash payment is way to go.


    1. Ben,

      I like to pay in cash if its less than $50 dollars.

      More than that, I would prefer to use credit cards ;)

  7. All the talks about cashless society... When that really happens, then we are kind of 'forced' to jump the hoops. I will just look for the lowest hoop with biggest diameter lol.

    1. Rainbow girl,

      The best is when we move, we already step beyond hurdles and hoops ;)

      If we do corporate travel a lot, then a card with frequent flyer miles will make a lot of sense. This is truely "free" miles since the tickets were paid by "Ah Kong".

      Same for entertaining clients at restaurants and clubs on company accounts.

      If out of our own pockets, show me a person who believes the more he spends the more he saves, I'll show you a hook, line, and sinker down his throat ;)

      Ah! The power of marketing and advertising!

      Moving to a cashless society is "easy".

      I don't see how difficult it is for us to have a card similar to "EZ-Link" to pay at hawker centres, convenience stores, supermarkets and even from Orchard Road ice cream sellers. Just tap and go!

      The problem is COMPETING intersts from different payment solutions providers - from banks and telcos with their own mobile pay solutions, credit card companies, Nets, and new payment startups popping up every day!

      So I'll be the mountain and let them fight over themsevles to win my business :)

  8. no no no smol, you have to look at the bright side of things:

    whats the different between me and my wife?

    me, you know trading fercefully in the market place, trying to buy at a slight discount or sell at a slight premium, i enjoy doing it! may be one day i will lose all my money.

    my wife, she is doing the same thing, equiped with many credit cards, she too trying to buy at a discount and enjoy every moment of it, she too one day will spend all our money!

    see no different! i guess thats human nature.

    1. coconut,

      I'm on the side with your wife ;)

      And that's the bright side! Anywhere got women is always brighter! LOL!

      Happy spend is best! Just like tired rest; hungry eat ;)

      I'm poking those who nickle and dime in everyday life, save here save there, then go invest and lose tens or even hundreds of thousands!

      Or buy properties at peak cycle prices :(

      One good thing about Trading is we can let go with decimal places mentality... What's the point of saving a few hundreds here and there when one stop loss is already thousands?

      Similarly, after few good trades, we can "burn" money like nothing as all of sudden quite a lot of things are "free".

      And that's how we give everything back :(

      Trading can bring out a lot of demons in us...


  9. Hi SMOL,

    Wishing U All, Peace, Love & Laughter in the New Year.

    May U continue to share your wisdom openly for many, many more years to come.

    And i vote U The "King OF Talk Male Chicken" anywhere, anytime.

    Seriously, with a lot of life's experiences(wisdom)and humour to boot.

    i know who i want to talk too when i am feeling shit has hit the fan.


  10. U are really a clown but how come U are so smart?

    All clowns must be smart then.


    More then 5 years we talk "Male Chicken" here?

    1. temperament,

      Yup, you were one of the early pioneer readers at this watering hole :)

      Hmm... Was that a needle sandwiched inside a compliment?

      Well, just as long you had a good laugh its all good :)

      I not so sure about the "smart" part, but I do know I don't take myself too seriously.

      Wrong say, "Opps!"

      Right say, "I got lucky!"


  11. And don't let CW knows, he is a bit more serious though he may talk "Male Chicken" occasionally.

    Also about 5 years talking at his blog already.'


    1. temperament,

      Precision at 2 decimal places... What you think?


      I've learnt a lot from bantering with him all these years.

      We don't grow by mixing with people who think like us; I prefer to mix with hammer and anvil ;)

  12. Ya, group thinking like Donald T & his WH.

    1. temperament,

      And mingle with people stronger than us.

      That's how steel gets hardened ;)

      If I only competed with my O' level peers, I think I would have achieved escape velocity much later...

  13. 祝大家:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...